One kind deed has had a ripple effect, showing that we can all do our part to make the world a better place.
When a situation of need arose, he didn’t hesitate to respond by helping others. The town of Puerto Gaboto, where Sebastián grew up, was on a tight budget, and the pediatrician who came from another town to care for the children wasn’t going to be paid to come any longer.
Sebastián had just taken on a job working with the local government, along with his other work. Anonymously and voluntarily, Sebastián decided to donate his pay from that job to the doctor, so that he could continue serving the needs of children in Puerto Gaboto.
This action—taken quietly, with no other intention than to help—came to light through an informal note from the municipal president. The story took off on social media, and then was picked up by bigger media outlets, ranging from online news sites to television and print. In the interviews, he comes across as unpretentious and charismatic. Sebastián took the opportunity to talk about his town and the people there that he loves and appreciates, more than talking about himself.
He tells Aleteia that his decision to give his earnings from his job with the town to pay the pediatrician instead is an act of gratitude for all that he has received. He recognizes the difficulties that his town faces and the generous support he has received from his family. He recounts how he was able to study and start a good career, thanks to his family and other people who made generous sacrifices to help him.
“I had to give back for everything I had received and the possibilities I had been given, understanding what it costs and the sacrifice required for a small-town boy to go to the city and study and work to get ahead, with all the effort [my family made] to help,” he says.
He felt that he couldn’t remain indifferent to this concrete need. He had to help however he could.
“I had a moral responsibility,” he said.
He doesn’t think that what he’s done is extraordinary, because he knows that he’s far from the only one who thinks and acts this way. “What I did received public exposure, but nothing more. There are many people who deserve more recognition than I do,” he says.
Sebastián says that the people who work at the health center always throw themselves completely into the difficult situations that arise. In addition, he admires many people who help out in other ways, such as at the church or at soup kitchens, who give assistance financially or with their time as volunteers for the sole purpose of doing good.
When the news began to be known, Sebastián was surprised to receive a great number of encouraging messages in which people not only congratulated him for his gesture or thanked him for his help, but also started acting in solidarity to help solve problems faced by people in situations of need.
Not only did people higher up in the government health system re-evaluate priorities, but other colleagues and professionals from other disciplines offered to help or participate in initiatives, such as the possibility of creating an organization to deal with children’s issues or to offer formation.
“I was pleasantly overwhelmed with messages from a lot of people, including colleagues and people from other professions, such as doctors or psychologists, who made themselves available to collaborate according to their circumstances,” he says. “This is encouraging. It shows me that many good things can be done.”
His good deed has had a positive ripple effect, because people who want to do something for others are starting to join together. Perhaps they wanted to do it before, but didn’t know how; or if they did it alone, now they have the opportunity to be able to do something greater together.
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